WRITERS. According to a recent survey, spending on content-marketing is expected to grow in 2012. Some of this spending is likely be used to hire journalists, writers, and editors who know how to efficiently produce a steady stream of articles, blog posts, white papers, and e-books.
What is content marketing? For the purposes of the research, the survey defined content marketing as: “The creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple formats to attract and/or retain customers.” Content marketing is also known as brand journalism, custom content, custom content, or branded content.
Corporations have been using content marketing for decades. But online publishing and social media have made it much easier for business of all types and sizes to use different forms of content marketing.
A 2011 survey of 1,092 B2B marketers showed that 60 percent plan to increase their spending on content marketing over the next 12 months. The survey was conducted jointly by by Marketing Profs and the Content Marketing Institute.
The study also revealed that marketers, on average, plan to spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing.
Regardless of company size or industry, 9 of the 10 organizations that participated in the survey reported that they used some form of content marketing. On average, they employ eight different content-marketing tactics.
As shown in the chart below, the five most popular tactics were: Articles, Social Media (other than blogs), Blogs, eNewsletters, and Case Studies.
This was the second year that Marketing Profs and the Content Marketing Institute conducted the survey. Although analysts did discover some year-to-year changes in the data, some of the key challenges associated with content marketing remained relatively constant.
The greatest reported challenge in both the 2010 and 2011 survey was “Producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers.” And the number of respondents who said it was a challenge “to produce enough content” has also remained steady from 2010 to 2011.
One statistic that did rise from the 2010 to 2011 surveys was the percentage of companies that are outsourcing at least a portion of their content-marketing activities. In 2010, 52 percent of companies were outsourcing some content-marketing work. That number rose to 62 percent in 2011.
Although the survey report doesn’t specify exactly what types of work is outsourced, the production of such things as videos, microsites, e-books, and magazines suggest that freelance designers, photographers, and videographers might also benefit from continued growth in content marketing.
The 17-page report, entitled “B2B Content Marketing: 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends,” is available as a free download from the MarketingProfs website. In addition to discussing content-marketing tactics, challenges, and outsourcing, the report also provides data on social media usage, goals, measurements. The best practices of some of the most successful content marketers are discussed as well.